Sent in by Babette Baker regarding the development of the southwest corner of James and Midler (where the Sport Center once stood, where Fifi’s Ice Cream is now):
Information Meeting On the Proposed Kinney Drug Store Project
Monday, August 15th -7pm
James St Methodist Church
3027 James St.
Representatives from the Development and Design Team will be present to answer questions.
City of Syracuse
Department of Neighborhood and Business Development
It’s very hard, after over 10 years of looking at a pile of rubble at a major intersection in our neighborhood, to project five or ten years down the road and try to imagine what we will have wished we’d done in 2011. We’re desperate for something clean, nice, and shop-able in that spot. And to be frank, given the number of years that have gone by without a solution, I’m not so sure there really is another solution besides another convenience store (Kinney’s). It’s basically a repetition of stores we already have, and apparently we don’t have enough people in this neighborhood who want anything but their medications and the stuff China ships us. I get that.
But, because I just can’t leave a thought unexpressed, I’d like to go back to this pattern of development that has plagued Syracuse and, apparently, still plagues it: pave paradise and put a parking lot. In a walkable community with lots of free parking along the streets (the side streets, anyway, but that’s another can of worms), why would we need the usual sea of asphalt that these convenience stores demand? Perhaps you, dear reader, have seen the Walgreens parking lot filled to capacity, and do let me know if you have, but I have not.
So I’d ask that you re-read this article: Other cities series: historic fabric. Ask yourself if it’s true that there is nothing we can do to preserve the historic fabric – the built history – of James Street. Maybe this design will surprise us. Maybe it will adhere to our overlay district guidelines while leaving existing buildings intact.
I deeply appreciate all the hard work that Mr. Marcoccia has put into the development of this corner. He came to us once with a design – for a gas station – that really did not work for us. And he didn’t put us through the years of hell that we experienced with a certain other developer. Instead, he went back to the drawing board, and for that I am deeply grateful.
I am hoping that this new design will be at least closer to what will benefit Eastwood. And if there’s any way, please let not too much more asphalt mar the fabric of our business district. In ten years, when gas is at $7/gallon and we’re walking a lot more, we might wish we’d kept it after all.